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How to twist tongues - Nina Parmenter's Blog

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Hello, I’m Nina :-) 

I have been dipping in and out of poetry since I was very young - in fact one of my most treasured possessions is a book of poems I wrote when I was six. (That and my copy of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes - which I still love to this day!) As a teenager I used to gift little rhymes to my friends to cheer them up but I never seriously continued my scribbling into adulthood.

If you’d told me a year ago how much poetry I’d be writing today, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. My brain was fogged by baby brain and, unbeknown to me, an undiagnosed illness. Towards the end of 2017, the baby brain began to improve, I got the illness under control, and with a burst of joy at its new-found clarity and creativity, my brain started to spew forth poetry as never before! I seized the moment, started a blog (called “It All Rhymes”) and with that going down well, joined Poetry Soup in January 2018. So far, I’ve not looked back!

In “real life”, I’m a Marketing Manager and I live in Wiltshire, UK with my fabulous husband and two wonderful, exhausting boys. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How to twist tongues

Blog Posted:1/12/2020 1:39:00 AM

Having set a tongue twister contest, I thought I’d better have a go myself  - and was finding it tricky! So I had a look at some popular ones to see if I could find a formula. And I think I have it.

“Take a small number of consonant sounds (often similar to one another) and mix them into words which use them in different orders, with different vowel sounds.”

How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?

“cl” and “cr” confuse there, as well as, to a lesser extent because they’re not stressed, “m” and “n”.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

This one interchanges “p” and “k”, but I think this is so devilish because the first line has a P at the beginning of each pair of syllables but then slightly different things happen after each one! Gah! It also takes the same phrase and plays around with it - to fox the brain as well as the tongue! A bit like Betty Botter below:

Betty Botter bought some butter

But she said the butter’s bitter

If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter

But a bit of better butter will make my batter better

So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.

Or how about this classic: 

She sells seashells by the seashore

Not just similar sounds here but very similar words! A trick which is used exquisitely in the one below. This one’s my favourite - go on try it out loud! Wishwishwosh...! 

I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch

 

If anyone else has great examples, please share!

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Date: 1/20/2020 11:28:00 AM
Examples are excellent. Any way, trying in my own style. Hugs.
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Date: 1/20/2020 1:22:00 AM
Thanks so much. Your examples are good drills for my phonetics class. I hope to present one that can be used as tongue-exercise. God bless you.
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Nina Parmenter
Date: 1/20/2020 1:33:00 AM
Ha, wonderful! Try also “the sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick”!! I can only say that verrrrry slowly!
Date: 1/12/2020 1:37:00 PM
Nina, thanks for the info and examples, thinking, thinking with a sinking feeling _Constance
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Nina Parmenter
Date: 1/13/2020 5:05:00 PM
Ha! That’s surprisingly difficult to say!
Date: 1/12/2020 11:42:00 AM
I think the bigger question is why does Peter Piper have a seeming fetish for pickled peppers to begin with? The obsession feels unhealthy somehow. As for Betty? She's a bit of a nervous Nellie if you ask me. Moving on...
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Nina Parmenter
Date: 1/13/2020 5:03:00 PM
Yep. These tongue twisty folk make the nursery rhyme folk look normal...
Date: 1/12/2020 5:52:00 AM
Not a different one but a variation on your second example. My teacher taught us: Betty bought a bit of butter but Betty found the butter bitter, so Betty bought a better bit of butter to make Betty's bitter butter better.
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Nina Parmenter
Date: 1/13/2020 5:05:00 PM
Betty needs to get battered on a bit of bitter I reckon!

My Past Blog Posts

 
Tongue Twister Contest
Date Posted: 1/21/2020 2:09:00 PM
How to twist tongues
Date Posted: 1/12/2020 1:39:00 AM
A little note on the Sing It contest
Date Posted: 1/10/2020 4:50:00 PM
Attempting a ‘proper’ limerick definition
Date Posted: 12/11/2019 12:04:00 PM
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Best images from the ‘Disarray’ contest
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Itch, Witch, Glitch or Twitch - Results and Notes
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Date Posted: 9/18/2019 4:34:00 PM
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Date Posted: 3/6/2019 3:52:00 PM
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Date Posted: 2/23/2019 8:55:00 AM
Capture That Emotion - Contest Finalised
Date Posted: 2/13/2019 3:50:00 PM

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